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(Onion AV Club)   The 35 best scifi movies of the 35 years since Blade Runner. List to the left, complaints and omissions to the right   ( avclub.com) divider line
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3698 clicks; posted to Discussion » on 05 Oct 2017 at 12:50 PM (2 weeks ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2017-10-05 01:16:03 PM  

Wessoman: A lot of win left off: Pi, Dark City, eXistenZ, Paprika, The Handmaid's Tale (Even if it was remade much better on Hulu), Akira, Patlabor 2, Gandahar, Gattaca, Gravity...Wow a lot of "G" films..

There are a lot of stupid choices, among them Snowpiercer, Ghost in the Shell, and Battle Royale. Battle Royale isn't even Sci-Fi. The original book was a dark future set in a alternate timeline where Japan won World War II, and the text reads like a gigantic critique of Japanese culture. But the movie is just another dumb Beat Takeshi action vehicle and none of the sci-fi political overtones (As well as the alternate history) made it into the film. At least Snowpiercer and GITS stayed sci-fi, even if they are considerably dumbed down from the original comic sources.

There are also a lot of bad films on this list: Upstream Color, Her, Starship Troopers, AI, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind...Jeez. Also, does the original Lynch version of Dune belong here?


Jesus Christmas... Paprika.

Everything that director did was an utter mindfark.  Perfect Blue was on his resume too.  His death was probably the only death of a foreign director that actually had me bummed out in my lifetime.

A one minute masterclass in scene crafting:
Ohayo (オハヨウ) Satoshi Kon
Youtube qYUFBnAmK28
 
2017-10-05 01:16:59 PM  
I was sort of expecting them to have the best science fiction movie for each year (84', 85', 86'...) not just 35 movies.

What is the point of a top 35 list?  How does this illustrate the genre evolving over time since that movie?

This is stupid.
 
2017-10-05 01:17:14 PM  

JohnBigBootay: whidbey: Yep. No Star Wars movies, and "Aliens" is better than the original.

Fark this hipster bullshiat.

Science fiction movies are not known for completely ignoring science. Star wars is fantasy in space and it's not even our universe. Star wars is fine. But it's not remotely sci fi.


How do you feel about Buckaroo Bonzai?
 
2017-10-05 01:18:24 PM  
List fails without:

www.sonypictures.com
 
2017-10-05 01:18:30 PM  
List needs Star Trek IV an VI.  Wrath of Kahn came out 3 weeks before Blade Runner.
 
2017-10-05 01:18:41 PM  

vygramul: You liked the Polish firing squads, human wave attacks, and a gross distortion of the book? OK, then.


The movie was better than the book.
The book is not nearly as smart as it thinks it is, and definitely not as life changing as the nerd armies think it is.
 
2017-10-05 01:20:44 PM  

rgGolf4: List fails without:

[www.sonypictures.com image 387x580]


This.

I know they were B movies but I liked Screamers and Absolon.
 
2017-10-05 01:20:58 PM  
TL:DR
35. Dune (1984)
34. Battle Royale (2000)
33. Moon (2009)
32. The Adventures Of Buckaroo Banzai Across The 8th Dimension (1984)
31. The Host (2006)
30. Looper (2012)
29. Snowpiercer (2013)
28. Ghost In The Shell (1995)
27. Donnie Darko (2001)
26. The Terminator (1984)
25. They Live (1988)
24. Inception (2010)
23. Edge Of Tomorrow (2014)
22. Upstream Color (2013)
21. Jurassic Park (1993)
20. RoboCop (1987)
19. Videodrome (1983)
18. Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991)
17. Starship Troopers (1997)
16. Minority Report (2002)
15. Arrival (2016)
14. The Fly (1986)
13. Under The Skin (2013)
12. Her (2013)
11. 12 Monkeys (1995)
10. A.I. Artificial Intelligence (2001)
9. Mad Max: Fury Road (2015)
8. Primer (2004)
7. WALL-E (2008)
6. Children Of Men (2006)
5. Back To The Future (1985)
4. Aliens (1986)
3. Brazil (1985)
2. The Matrix (1999)
1. Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind (2004)
 
2017-10-05 01:21:49 PM  
Wessoman: A lot of win left off: Pi, Dark City, eXistenZ, Paprika, The Handmaid's Tale (Even if it was remade much better on Hulu), Akira, Patlabor 2, Gandahar, Gattaca, Gravity...Wow a lot of "G" films..

There are a lot of stupid choices, among them Snowpiercer, Ghost in the Shell, and Battle Royale. Battle Royale isn't even Sci-Fi. The original book was a dark future set in a alternate timeline where Japan won World War II, and the text reads like a gigantic critique of Japanese culture. But the movie is just another dumb Beat Takeshi action vehicle and none of the sci-fi political overtones (As well as the alternate history) made it into the film. At least Snowpiercer and GITS stayed sci-fi, even if they are considerably dumbed down from the original comic sources.

Battle Royale is definitely science fiction.

There are also a lot of bad films on this list: Upstream Color, Her, Starship Troopers, AI, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind...Jeez. Also, does the original Lynch version of Dune belong here?

You have an odd definition of "bad film."

In addition to the criminal omissions of Gattaca and Dark City (the director's cut that lets the viewer figure out what's going on as opposed to the theatrical cut with the narration at the beginning that spoiled the whole damn movie), I'd add District 9, Serenity, Never Let Me Go, The Road, and The Man from Earth.
 
2017-10-05 01:23:14 PM  
Holy shiat that's a lot of hate for Snowpiercer. I didn't think it was mind-blowing life-changing but damn if I wasn't thoroughly entertained by it.
 
2017-10-05 01:25:07 PM  
The Thing, Pi, Gattaca, Predator, 12 Monkeys, Fifth Element, The Abyss, The Quiet Earth, Terminator II, Akira, Dark City, Screamers, Galaxy Quest, Stargate, Iron Giant, Truman Show, The Martian, District 9, Ex Machina, Dredd, Robot and Frank, and Shin Godzilla are all better than the lesser entries of this list.
 
2017-10-05 01:25:16 PM  
Seen all of them apart from two - Upstream Color and Her.

All are pretty good and have their merits - except one. That Primer (one of the worst films of all time) is in the list tells you all you need to know about subjectivity in lists.
 
2017-10-05 01:25:31 PM  
img.fark.net

You're gonna let some emo dweeb like Donnie Darko on the list, but you're not going to invite Dr. Venkman? Next time you got a couple of Class IVs bugging you, don't call.
 
2017-10-05 01:25:43 PM  

Uzzah: The premise of Snowpiercer was better than its execution.


Uzzah: The premise was the only thing that made it interesting --


Uzzah: It's not a *bad* movie, but it has a lot of potential that went unrealized.


You need to read Le Transperceneige (Snowpiercer, translated in French), the original comic that Snowpiercer is based off. It's why I hate Battle Royale and GITS so much--The original French comic really explored the world, and even included other trains surviving the same world. A really fascinating comic that just ended in 2016, and when you read it, you will realize that the Snowpiercer film doesn't do the source material much justice, it really needed to be made into a Handsmaid's Tale like TV show that explored it's true potential.

BeesNuts: Jesus Christmas... Paprika.Everything that director did was an utter mindfark. Perfect Blue was on his resume too. His death was probably the only death of a foreign director that actually had me bummed out in my lifetime.A one minute masterclass in scene crafting:


No shiat. This is the inherent hipster prejudice of the AV Club (Which, by the way, I really hate)-- If Paprika was a live action film and not a Japanese anime, it would have had Oscar consideration and would certainly be in the top 5 of this list. But no, it's the AV Club so you get hipster "sci-fi-esque" shiat like Eternal Sunshine and Her.
 
2017-10-05 01:26:01 PM  
Venetian Snares - Ion Divvy
Youtube ABP8wm2wYfM
 
2017-10-05 01:26:34 PM  
If you're going to include sci-fi comedy with "Back To The Future" and "Buckaroo Banzai", you have to add "Galaxy Quest" and "Men In Black".
 
2017-10-05 01:26:35 PM  

KingBiefWhistle: Holy shiat that's a lot of hate for Snowpiercer. I didn't think it was mind-blowing life-changing but damn if I wasn't thoroughly entertained by it.


This. I had fun. Also I'm a big Rian Johnson fan, but I thought looper was disappointing
 
2017-10-05 01:26:56 PM  

KingBiefWhistle: Snowpiercer


Snow is easy to pierce. People do it all the time with shovels, boots, tires, sticks...

We don't need a two-hour movie just for that, and it's hardly science fiction when somebody does.

Harrumph.

/okay, okay. I haven't seen it. It's on my "watch it one day" list.
 
2017-10-05 01:27:56 PM  

rgGolf4: List fails without:

[www.sonypictures.com image 387x580]


I feel ashamed I forgot to list this film too. Truly a top 20, a much better "Remake" of Alien Nation.
 
2017-10-05 01:28:04 PM  
In addition to the criminal omissions of Gattaca and Dark City (the director's cut that lets the viewer figure out what's going on as opposed to the theatrical cut with the narration at the beginning that spoiled the whole damn movie), I'd add District 9, Serenity, Never Let Me Go, The Road, and The Man from Earth.

I loved Serenity.  I loved it a lot.  However, on no plane of existence is it one of the top sci-fi films of all time.  Not even close.
 
2017-10-05 01:28:32 PM  

Rocketboy1313: vygramul: You liked the Polish firing squads, human wave attacks, and a gross distortion of the book? OK, then.

The movie was better than the book.
The book is not nearly as smart as it thinks it is, and definitely not as life changing as the nerd armies think it is.


lol

I can't speak to the nerd army opinions of the book, as often they make some of the same mistakes critics do.
 
2017-10-05 01:29:04 PM  

This text is now purple: Iron Giant, Truman Show,


THIS
 
2017-10-05 01:30:16 PM  
Sunshine of the Spotless Mind is a well done and interesting movie.  It should not be on this list at all, and putting it at number one is mind boggling to say the least.
 
2017-10-05 01:31:38 PM  
Also missing from list (July 9th 1982)

img.fark.net
 
2017-10-05 01:33:37 PM  

Kegovitch: "Guys, we need more clicks.  What do we do?"


"let's not mention Freejack and Repo Men"
 
2017-10-05 01:34:03 PM  
Primer? AND That high? GARBAGE LIST IS GARBAGE. A more overrated movie does not exist.
 
2017-10-05 01:34:43 PM  

thatguyoverthere70: And Ex Machina is better than 25% of these movies and it's not even on the list crap.
I still can't believe so many people love Snowpiercer.


I couldn't finish either of those pieces of shiat. A good third of the movies in TFA were utter garbage.
 
2017-10-05 01:34:46 PM  
My reactions:

35. Sure.
34. I guess.  Didn't seem too Sci-Fi to me.
33. Sure.
32. I really need to watch that one of these days.
31. I've heard good things.  I'll at it to my list.
30. Meh.
29. Eh.  It was ok.  Not great.
28. More important for its cultural impact than its quality in and of itself.
27. Was ok. Certainly not great. Never felt the urge to watch it a second time.
26. Yes.
25. Hells Yes.
24. Eh.  It wasn't nearly as innovative or clever as the studio's marketing department tried to convince everybody it was.
23. Fun? Sure.  Entertaining? Certainly.  Great?  Not really.
22. Never even heard of it.
21. Sure.
20. Certainly.
19. Absolutely.
18. Good action movie.  First one was better.  Loses points for the first illogical and innapropriate use of Ahnold.
17. Yeah - as long as you can get past it not being very much at all based on the book.
16. Definitely.  Admittedly, I'm a sucker for anything based on PKD
15. I need to give this one another shot.  Was in the wrong mood when I tried to watch it, and didn't make it 10 minutes in.
14. Yeah, pretty good.
13. Haven't seen, may look into it.
12. Haven't seen, don't find myself interested.
11. Yes.
10. It was so-so.  Gets more acclaim for who made it than what it is, IMO
09. Yeah.
08. Meh.  Not nearly as clever, deep, or interesting as its fanboys proclaim.
07. Sure.
06. Also on my "Haven't seen but should at some point" list.
05. Of course.
04. Duh.
03. Never made it all the way through.  I'll try again at some point.
02. I like it.  It's fun.
01. Ok, not great.

I'm not going to start going into all the things I think should have been included on the list (in this comment, at least), and I'm not saying it deserves to be on this list, but I'd like to point out that I really enjoyed The Arrival (1996) with Mr Tiger Blood.
 
2017-10-05 01:36:30 PM  
Return of the Jedi
Guardians of the Galaxy
Logan
Rise/Dawn/War...planet of the apes
Equilibrium
A Scanner Darkly
Sunshine
Transformers: The Movie (1986)
Chronicle
Pacific Rim
 
2017-10-05 01:37:24 PM  

cew-smoke: In addition to the criminal omissions of Gattaca and Dark City (the director's cut that lets the viewer figure out what's going on as opposed to the theatrical cut with the narration at the beginning that spoiled the whole damn movie), I'd add District 9, Serenity, Never Let Me Go, The Road, and The Man from Earth.

I loved Serenity.  I loved it a lot.  However, on no plane of existence is it one of the top sci-fi films of all time.  Not even close.


It certainly belongs on the list ahead of Donnie Darko and Dune. Serenity explores an important question; the nature of morality and free will and the possibility of achieving virtue through coercion. I know it's currently fashionable to hate Joss Whedon, but I think Serenity deserves more respect than it gets.
 
2017-10-05 01:40:34 PM  
Not a terrible list, a few things out of order.   AI shouldn't be on there at all.  And their #1 pick, wouldn't even be in my top 40.

Underrated on this list: Terminator 1, Robocop,

Overrated: Minority Report, Arrival, Under The Skin, Mad Max.  All decent movies, but too high on the list.

Missing: Gattica  (I'd stick it around #15), Gravity (around #30)

Any of  The Matrix, Aliens, Back to the Future or Wall-E could be #1 and I would be satisfied.
 
2017-10-05 01:41:14 PM  

BorgiaGinz: Battle Royale is definitely science fiction.


If you read the book, I'd agree. But the movie is a fetishy prison movie.

I would have LOVED it if BR had more of the sci-fi elements and worldcraft from the original novel. Heck, they even left out Bruce Springsteen's "Born to Run" from the film, the one thing that actually ties the book together in a brilliant narrative.
 
2017-10-05 01:42:20 PM  

Scorpitron is reduced to a thin red paste: What about that one movie with the people?


You mean the one with the guy with the thing? I love that one.
 
2017-10-05 01:43:38 PM  

JerseyTim: eXistenZ belongs on the list, preferably higher than The Matrix.


I watched eXistenZ once, quite a while ago. i don't remember much but it was terrible
 
2017-10-05 01:43:59 PM  
I think Spielberg's War of the Worlds could've easily been on that list.
Moon seems WAY too low. I'd have it in top 5.  Probably put Children of Men at #1.

I'd even have Prometheus in there in exchange for several of those.  Rogue One, as well.
 
2017-10-05 01:44:06 PM  

GreenAdder: whidbey: No Star Wars movies,

Star Wars is considered by a lot of cinephiles to be a fantasy movie wrapped in science fiction clothing, rather than being "pure" science fiction. Even my "Into to Film" textbook categorized it as fantasy. It's less "let's explore how technology changes things" than it is "LOTR in Space."


I like to compare Star Wars and Star Trek to 2 ocean movies.  2 sides of the same coin.

Star Trek is Master and Commander - space navy
Star Wars is Pirates of the Caribbean - ridiculously colorful characters with fantasy and magic.  oh and boats/spaceships.
 
2017-10-05 01:45:00 PM  
Warning: topless Bastet
Kas Product "TinaTown" 1983
Youtube 2GzDz8jMviQ

Immortel (ad vitam) 2004 - Full Movie - YouTube
 
2017-10-05 01:45:15 PM  
images.fandango.com"We didn't make the list?!?!"
 
2017-10-05 01:46:39 PM  
Galaxy Quest is better scifi than at least 7 of those movies.
 
2017-10-05 01:48:53 PM  
Night of the Comet
The Last Starfighter


Actually, any film with Catherine Mary Stewart.
 
2017-10-05 01:48:58 PM  

Once and Future Lurker: A.I. is one of the worst movies I have ever seen. I can't believe it's even on this list, never mind number ten.


I hated it on first viewing and greatly valued it by the 2nd viewing, years later.  Sorta like a typical Kubrick film, that its hard to assimilate the first time.   you have to revisit it.
 
2017-10-05 01:49:17 PM  

BorgiaGinz: It certainly belongs on the list ahead of Donnie Darko


I agree with a lot of Fark's taste, but I don't understand the hate for Donnie Darko..Or maybe I do, people don't like films that are "Loved" by Hipsters white millenials that live in formerly ethnic neighborhoods. Anyhoo, I have always seen Donnie Darko as a textbook example of a Lorentzian manifold CTC, it's a great way to illustrate the Novikov Self-Consistency Principle in action.
 
2017-10-05 01:50:18 PM  

Crewmannumber6: Also I'm a big Rian Johnson fan, but I thought looper was disappointing


Completely agree, though I would say "disappointing" is actually being polite.  A shame since I had high hopes after hearing the premise and liking his other work.
 
2017-10-05 01:52:36 PM  

LewDux: [Youtube-video https://www.youtube.com/embed/ABP8wm2wYfM]


Wow, another Farker who knows who Venetian Snares is.

Secondly, although there were a lot of good choices missing, I liked the list.
 
2017-10-05 01:53:12 PM  

Subtonic: Primer? AND That high? GARBAGE LIST IS GARBAGE. A more overrated movie does not exist.


I cannot THIS this enough.

I was shown the movie by my roommate's douchebro buddy.  This was our conversation when it ended:
"Eh, it was ok"
"If you think that, you didn't understand it.  It's so complex"
"No, I understood it."
"If you think you understood it, you're wrong bro"

I mean, it's a neat little movie done on the cheap, but it's not at all hard to follow.  I guess maybe unless you've never had any exposure to other fiction featuring time travel, or are a moron.
 
2017-10-05 01:53:47 PM  

KingBiefWhistle: Holy shiat that's a lot of hate for Snowpiercer. I didn't think it was mind-blowing life-changing but damn if I wasn't thoroughly entertained by it.


At it's best, it's an awesomely bad B movie with ham handed social messaging, yet all of the critics and pretentious people out there seemed to love it for some reason.  I think that's why it gets all the hate.  It would be like if critics and your pretentious art house friends started raving about 'Big Trouble In Little China', or 'They Live'.
 
2017-10-05 01:55:22 PM  
Not that you bastards give a rat's ass what I think... (removed the ones I haven't seen)
35. Dune (1984) - I liked it, but it's not great Sci-Fi.
33. Moon (2009) - Very good movie.
32. Buckaroo Banzai (1984) - Great comedy, not much of a Sci-Fi movie.
30. Looper (2012) - Much better than it had a right to be.
29. Snowpiercer (2013) - Utter garbage.
28. Ghost In The Shell (1995) - Amazing movie that needed a much bigger budget.
27. Donnie Darko (2001) - Pretentious shiat.
26. The Terminator (1984) - Good movie, had a big enough impact to make the list.
25. They Live (1988) - Good comedy and social commentary, not a really a good movie.
24. Inception (2010) - I liked it, but it's a crime drama with a twist.
23. Edge Of Tomorrow (2014) - Much better than it should have been.
21. Jurassic Park (1993) - Amazing movie over all, if you ignore a few computer tech issues.
20. RoboCop (1987) - Amazing movie.
19. Videodrome (1983) - Hmmm... not as boring as Scanners, but not that good of a movie.
18. Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991) - a good movie with a massively insipid ending that ruined it.
17. Starship Troopers (1997) - How did this turd end up on the list?
15. Arrival (2016) - Pretentious crap.
14. The Fly (1986) - I liked it, but it's not sci-fi, it's body horror.
11. 12 Monkeys (1995) - Belongs higher on the list, especially considering what is higher on this list.
10. A.I. Artificial Intelligence (2001) - The worst of both directors involved.
09. Mad Max: Fury Road (2015) - More of an action movie than a sci-fi movie.
07. WALL-E (2008) - Up until they reach the ship, yes. afterwards, not so much.
06. Children Of Men (2006) - I really liked it.
05. Back To The Future (1985) - Sci-fi comedy done perfectly.
04. Aliens (1986) - Good movie, not as good as Alien.
03. Brazil (1985) - Very good movie.
02. The Matrix (1999) - No, not worthy of the spot. Dark City was much better.
 
2017-10-05 01:57:29 PM  

Ed Grubermann: 19. Videodrome (1983) - Hmmm... not as boring as Scanners, but not that good of a movie.


I will fight you.
 
2017-10-05 01:58:22 PM  
Another film that I think deserves to be on this list, as it is a eerie Science-Fiction/Horror film, is Prince of Darkness.

Every time I hear the "This is not a dream" line, it always gives me chills. Really creepy stuff.
 
2017-10-05 01:59:48 PM  

Mole Man: Also missing from list (July 9th 1982)


+1 for creativity and innovation. -100 for the film editing and incomprehensible narrative.

I had the good fortune to be given a copy of the novelization before the film made it to my small town, and I loved the book. Everything more or less made sense -- who the different programs were, why they were doing what they were doing, what each thing in the world was designed to do, etc.

When I finally saw the movie, I walked out scratching my head because I wasn't even sure whether I had seen the right film. So many bits of narrative tissue were cut out that it left the whole thing an incomprehensible mess, even when I knew what was supposed to be happening. I get that it's easier to write exposition than it is to show it on screen, but in a story like this, where there is an outsider character and an insider character, you've got a ready-made vehicle to have the insider explain things to the outsider and the audience at the same time.

I don't know if Disney wanted it cut down for time, or if the effects budget kept them from filming a lot of coverage that was necessary to fill in the gaps, or they were running up against a release date and had to cut filming short or what. But man, the book was so much better.
 
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